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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Why Are You So Afraid?

“A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Mark 4:37-41 NIV

The garden of my heart is not only a place of prayer. It is a quiet place that I can take my Bible and sit and read, contemplate God’s eternal words, re-read the words, and look for personal application. It is during personal application that I usually try to be quiet and still and allow God to teach me his truth.

This morning I grab my coffee, tuck my Bible under my arm and head for the garden. The spot that I choose to sit is surrounded by tall and stately deep red bee balm. Today the purple cone flowers are particularly beautiful. The Shasta daisies seem to nod their cheerful heads in a good morning greeting. The yellow yarrow is stunning. But my all time favorite is the delicate wisps of lavender blue Russian sage. I am delighted as I think to myself what an absolutely charming setting to be taught by God.

My teaching today begins in the book of Mark. I’m reading about a time that the disciples were taught by Jesus. However, the setting was not charming nor was it delightful! The disciples found themselves out in the middle of the sea when a storm came up. Not just any storm, Mark tells us that “a furious squall came up and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.” The disciples were terrified! To add to their hopelessness Jesus was calmly sleeping in the back of the boat.

Have you ever been in great distress and thought that Jesus was asleep on the job? I must confess that I have had that experience more than once. I have felt like I was drowning in a sea of despair and that Jesus didn’t give a rip! I too have found myself shaking Jesus’ shoulders and saying, “Wake up Lord! Pay attention! I’m not going to make it!”

To the disciples shock and amazement Jesus simply stood up and spoke three words. “Get the mop!” No, I don’t think so. Instead, with divine power Jesus spoke the command as only the creator of the universe could do. Jesus said, “Quiet! Be still!” In that same manner Jesus speaks to the wind and the waves of my fearful heart and says, “Quiet!” Be still!”

The disciples were dumbfounded! They had always observed Jesus meeting the needs of others, but on this day he met their need in a very personal way. For the first time they witnessed the divinity of Jesus Christ. They talked among themselves and asked, “Who is this?” They saw him not just a teacher who could perform healing miracles but they began for the first time to see him as God, the great “I Am” the One who controls the wind and the waves. If you think they were terrified before, now they were “triple - ripple” terrified. The hair on the back of their necks was standing up! Their hearts were beating out of their chests! They now had a new respect for Jesus. He went from teacher to Lord in a heartbeat.

God’s message to my heart this day is, “Paula, please don’t be terrified as to who I Am. I just want you to see me in my power and glory. I want you to respect me, but do not be afraid. I want you to love me not for what I can do for you but because of what I have already done for you. Please, “Quiet! Be still!” trust me. I’m not asleep. I know your every need and I am here to comfort and protect you. I will get you safely home. This disastrous boat of life will soon come to rest on the shore of heaven, but until that time simply trust me with all of your fears. Do not be terrified. I am here for you.


Are you experiencing fear in your life?

Do you see Jesus as someone who helps others but not you?

Do you see Jesus as a teacher who lived 2000 years ago or do you see him as your personal Savior, the Lord of your life?

Do you believe that if you become quiet and still, God can calm the storm in your life and give you his peace?


Dear Jesus,

Thank you for your teachings this day. Today I ask you to calm the winds and waves of my heart. Take away the disastrous blowing and tossing waves of fear. Jesus, I know that when fear consumes me I become paralyzed and cannot be used by you. Forgive me for the frightening feelings that I have deep within my heart. Take away the fearful thoughts of coming disaster. Thank you Lord. Help me to embrace great joy as I allow you to take control of my life. Help me to continue to trust you one day at a time for each and every detail of my life.

In Your Name I Pray. Amen